Sunday, August 02, 2009


(The following is an updated chronology covering April, 2006. It was prepared by sceptical, with additional suggestions by Baldo, JSwift, sdsgo, and Quasi, whom he thanks.)


SATURDAY APRIL 1: Herald-Sun publishes interview with Duke SANE coordinator Theresa Arico R.N. who backs up rookie SANE Tara Levicy’s claims, including those of “blunt force trauma.”

SUNDAY APRIL 2: Rev. Sam Wells, Dean of Duke Chapel, delivers a sermon excoriating student athletes and campus culture.

MONDAY APRIL 3: Durham DA Mike Nifong stops granting interviews about the case.

The accuser Crystal Mangum again goes to UNC Hospitals complaining of neck pain and seeking prescription pain drugs.

Durham PD Investigator Ben Himan picks up statement from eyewitness Jason Bissey, but does not question or interview him.

Himan unsuccessfully attempts to contact the second dancer, Kim (Roberts) Pittman, at her house; he leaves his business card.

Duke Deputy General Counsel Kate Hendricks sends Nifong a letter offering to assist him in interviewing Duke administrators whom the lacrosse players had confidentially given information about the incident.

Duke Provost Peter Lange sends Prof. Houston Baker a letter criticizing Baker’s March 29 statements blasting the lacrosse team and the university. “I cannot tell you how disappointed, saddened and appalled I was to receive this letter from you…,” Lange writes.

CrimeStoppers issues a news release about Mangum’s allegations:
On Monday, March 13, 2006 about 11:00pm, the Duke University Lacrosse Team solicited a local escort service for entertainment. The victim was paid to dance at the residence located at 610 Buchanan. The Duke Lacrosse Team was hosting a party at the residence. The victim was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community....”

Cash rewards are offered for information. CrimeStoppers coordinator Durham PD Cpl. David Addison wrote the release.

Travis Mangum, Crystal’s father, is interviewed on MSNBC by Rita Cosby and claims his daughter had identified three attackers.

Durham PD Sgt. Mark Gottlieb helps prepare PowerPoint photo line-up of lacrosse players using photos taken March 23 pursuant to NTIO.

TUESDAY APRIL 4: Durham Police hold photoID session with Mangum using PowerPoint photo line-up. No fillers are included, just Duke lacrosse players. Session is led by Gottlieb and is videotaped. Mangum picks out four players (David Evans, Collin Finnerty, Reade Seligmann, and Matt Wilson) as her attackers. Mangum remembers details she could not remember earlier, suggesting she had been “coached” with party photos in the hands of the police.

Nifong receives a telephone report from SBI showing no DNA evidence linking the lacrosse players to Mangum. He directs Inv. Michelle Soucie to find another lab for more detailed tests. Nifong is briefed on the photoID session by Gottlieb and Soucie.

Gottlieb talks on telephone with VP Aaron Graves of Duke public safety.

Capt. Jeff Lamb and Lt. Michael Ripberger of Durham PD District 2 ask Gottlieb to prepare a timeline of events for City Manager Patrick Baker.

A New York Times reporter writes an article about Collin Finnerty’s involvement in an incident outside a bar the previous year in Georgetown. The article, published April 5, makes Finnerty appear to be violent and anti-gay. The Durham Police may have been a source in an effort to smear Finnerty.
Mangum’s father Travis says in an interview that when he saw his daughter the day after the party, her eyes and face were swollen, her arms were scratched, and she was complaining about pain in her leg. He says she told him she had danced at a party and someone hit her. The next day, she told him she had been raped.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 5: Gottlieb organizes police canvass of neighborhood around 610 N. Buchanan party site.

Vulgar private e-mail sent March 14 by Ryan McFadyen (parody of “American Psycho”) made public, igniting a firestorm; McFadyen suspended by Duke.

Coach Mike Pressler resigns under pressure as Duke lacrosse head coach. Duke AD Joe Alleva tells him “it’s not about the truth.”

Lacrosse season cancelled by Brodhead.

Brodhead introduces committees assigned to examine the administration's response to the incident, the lacrosse team's culture, campus culture and two other issues.

Levicy turns over to Himan handwritten nursing notes purporting to give Mangum’s story as told to her on March 14, as well as portions of the SANE report which Levicy had amended after March 14. Himan also receives rest of Mangum’s medical records from Duke, which had been subpoenaed March 21.

Nifong petitions Judge Ronald Stephens in a secret motion prepared by ADA David Saacks to allow testing of rape kit specimens by DNASI. The motion is granted.

Computers taken during the search of 610 N. Buchanan are turned over to
Durham PD Computer Forensics Lab.

Nifong leaves for District Attorney Conference in Florida through April 7.

THURSDAY APRIL 6: The “Listening Statement” is issued by 88 Duke faculty who come to be known as the “Group of 88.” The statement appears as an ad in the Chronicle. The ad is signed by 15 Duke departments and programs.

Duke women’s lacrosse coach Kirstin Kimmel warns Brodhead about in-class harassment being faced by lacrosse players; he discounts her concerns.

Brodhead declines to review exculpatory evidence offered by defense attorneys for the players.

Brodhead meets with NAACP officials including Rev. William Barber. Afterwards, Barber calls for a quick and complete investigation.

Himan interviews Mangum and Jarriel Johnson, her “driver,” about her whereabouts prior to the lacrosse team party. She had been at 3 hotel rooms and a strip club the weekend before the party.

Mangum provides her first written statement about the incident. The five-page handwritten statement contradicts her earlier accounts in numerous important ways.

Jarriel Johnson gives a written statement confirming he had driven Mangum to several engagements at hotel rooms the weekend before March 13.

Himan evades questions from defense attorneys whether the photos obtained from the NTIO had been used in an identification procedure, even though he knew about the April 4 session.

SBI transfers specimens to DNASI for Y chromosome DNA analysis.

Durham PD gives a briefing to City Manager Patrick Baker.

Defense counsel send Nifong a Demand Letter asking for results of all DNA testing.

Nifong offered exculpatory evidence by defense counsel but he refuses to examine it.

WRAL and other news outlets report Mangum tried to run over a sheriff’s deputy during a car chase in 2002. Woody Vann, her attorney for that case, says she apologized, paid a fine, served jail time, and had been on probation.

Defense attorney Joe Cheshire tells media that the March 14 911 call was made by the second dancer (Kim (Roberts) Pittman). He also says lacrosse players were angry about paying money for a dance lasting about 3 minutes, but there was no assault.

FRIDAY APRIL 7: DNASI extracts DNA from Mangum’s panties and swabs from her rape kit for additional tests.

The SBI gives Nifong the final results on its forensic DNA work on Mangum’s rape kit specimens, as well as the towel and false fingernails seized during the search of 610 N. Buchanan.

Duke Board of Trustees President Robert Steel issues a statement:
“The trustees of Duke University have been in active conversation with President Brodhead and the university’s senior leadership since the outset of the controversy involving the men’s lacrosse team. We appreciate the constancy of President Brodhead’s responsible leadership at a time when the facts are not clear and emotions run high…”

Gottlieb sends out another message to the Trinity Park listserv asking for any information about the party on March 13-14.

SATURDAY APRIL 8: DNASI begins Y chromosome DNA analysis on Mangum rape kit items. DNA from panties and rectal swab does not match any of the lacrosse team, but does show profiles of at least 4 other men.

SUNDAY APRIL 9: DNASI continues DNA analysis over the weekend.

Defense attorney Bill Thomas reveals the existence of photos taken at the March 13-14 party. The photos show Mangum was impaired and already had minor scratches.

MONDAY APRIL 10: Defense attorneys hold news conference to reveal no matches were found by SBI in DNA testing of lacrosse team. (Nifong had SBI final report on April 7 and withheld it from attorneys). They also confirm that time-stamped photos exist showing Mangum was impaired at the party.

Nifong, Gottlieb and Himan travel to DNASI to receive results of DNA testing from lab director Brian Meehan and lab president Richard Clark. They are told that there is DNA from at least 4 males in the rape kit specimens, but none match the lacrosse players.

Nifong in an interview with CBS claims defense attorneys are misrepresenting the SBI results.

Himan opens sealed letter (supplemental report) dated April 9 from Sgt. John Shelton, the first Durham police officer to see Mangum early on March 14, which casts doubts on Mangum’s allegations.

Photographs from the party are published in the News & Observer.

Rev. Jesse Jackson announces that he and his organization will offer Mangum a scholarship to finish her education. He says he hopes she will never again have to dance "to survive.”

Mayor Bill Bell asks Nifong not to attend a forum on the case at North Carolina Central University the following day. Nifong agrees but later changes his mind.

TUESDAY APRIL 11: Nifong, Mayor Bell, and Deputy Police Chief Ron Hodge attend the NCCU forum, where arrests are demanded by the crowd of over 700. Afterwards, Hodge makes a comment about the strength of the evidence.

Nifong meets with Mangum; Gottlieb, Himan, and Lt. Ripberger were also present. Nifong later insists they only talked about procedural issues and not facts of case.

Nifong decides to go ahead with indictments of Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty, two of four players Mangum had identified in the April 4 ID session as her attackers.

Himan goes to UNC Hospital and receives Mangum’s medical records which verify her drug-seeking behavior.

Himan talks to Brent Saeli (a Duke student not on the lacrosse team) on the telephone; he confirms he was at the party but left with another student Blake Boehmler and a lacrosse player.

A background check by the Durham PD reveals Mangum’s earlier arrests.

Durham PD Cpl. Addison amends the CrimeStoppers news release which had called the incident a “horrific crime” and Mangum the “victim” to more neutral terms.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 12: Nifong prepares indictments against Seligmann and Finnerty; he asks in a motion that the indictments be sealed until they can be arrested.

By waiting to arrest until after indictments Nifong avoids a probably cause hearing.

Himan asks, “with what?” evidence, in a meeting with Nifong about the indictments. They are still unsure as to who was at the party, especially Reade Seligmann.

Nifong confirms in a fax to defense counsel his obligation to provide a written report of DNA test results.

At a DA candidates' forum, Nifong vows, "I am not going to allow Durham's view, in the minds of the world, to be a bunch of lacrosse players from Duke raping a black girl in Durham."
An interfaith vigil is held on the Duke campus.

THURSDAY APRIL 13: Phony e-mail is sent through Breck Archer’s Duke e-mail account stating he was going to police tomorrow to tell them all he knows.

Gottlieb speaks on the phone with a U.S. Attorney in DC to seek information about Finnerty’s assault case there.

Gottlieb and Himan meet with Duke Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek and Kate Hendricks the Duke deputy counsel.

Gottlieb and Himan get access to Duke dorms from the Duke Police in attempt to question team members about who was at party. They spend 75 minutes at Edens improperly trying to interview lacrosse players, although they did not have a warrant and knew the players were already represented by counsel.

A police tape from March 14 is released. The officer (later revealed to be Sgt. John Shelton) says of Mangum, “She’s just passed-out drunk.”

ABC News says an unidentified cousin of Mangum claims Mangum does not feel her claims are being taken seriously because she is an “exotic dancer.”

About 50 students attend a forum on race relations on the Duke campus.

FRIDAY APRIL 14: Himan expresses concerns about indicting Seligmann due to insufficient evidence Reade was at the party. In a conference call with Ripberger, Lamb, and Gottlieb, Nifong tells them that if they believe Mangum’s identification of Finnerty, then they should believe her ID of Seligmann.

Nifong meets with defense attorneys Wade Smith, Butch Williams, and Bill Thomas. They offer to open their files and seek dialogue; Nifong declines.

Himan calls defense counsel still seeking information as to who was at the party.


SUNDAY APRIL 16: Himan receives alibi information from defense attorney Samantha Ekstrand.

MONDAY APRIL 17: Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty are indicted in a sealed indictment by a Durham County grand jury after hearing testimony from Gottlieb and Himan.
Nifong downgrades second dancer Kim (Roberts) Pittman’s bond from a previous arrest to unsecured status, keeping her out of jail. Defense attorneys later accuse Nifong of giving her special treatment in exchange for changes in her testimony.
Brodhead, Mayor Bill Bell, and Chancellor James Ammons of NCCU issue “Community of One” statement calling for unity.

About 250 students at NCCU rally in support of Mangum.

Duke AD Joe Alleva reveals that fired lacrosse lcoach Mike Pressler had been warned about the behavior of his team by Duke VP Tallman Trask the previous year.

TUESDAY APRIL 18: Seligmann and Finnerty are taken into custody on charges of rape, kidnapping and sexual offense. They are released on $400,000 bail.

Search warrants are executed by Durham PD on Seligmann’s and Finnerty’s dorm rooms at Duke.

Nifong states in a press release authorities are trying to identify a third perpetrator.

City Manager Baker defends Durham PD questioning of lacrosse players already represented by counsel in Duke dorms on April 13, calling it a “knock and talk.” He confirms Duke Police knew about it in advance.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 19: N&O publishes article saying friends, former team mates, and neighbors of Reade Seligmann vouch for his good character and do not believe he committed the alleged rape.

Kim (Roberts) Pittman sends e-mail to public relations firm seeking to capitalize on case.

The “Abrams Report” makes public the time-stamped photos taken at the party on March 13-14.

THURSDAY APRIL 20: Taxi driver Moez Elmostafa gives a sworn affidavit stating he drove Seligmann and another player from the party on March 14 to an ATM and a restaurant before dropping them off at their dorm, corroborating Seligmann’s alibi.

Brodhead announces the steering committee of the Campus Cultural Initiative. Dean Robert Thompson is chair and VP Larry Moneta vice chair.

Brodhead speaks to the Durham Chamber of Commerce and mentions the lacrosse incident. “If they didn’t do it, whatever they did was bad enough.”

Pittman gives an interview to the Associated Press in which she says “somebody did something,” again changing her account of the party.

Durham police call WNCN-TV, NBC-17, requesting photos of the party that were broadcast on television.

The search warrant for Collin Finnerty’s dorm room is released publicly.

FRIDAY APRIL 21: Nifong, Gottlieb, Himan, Meehan and Clark again meet at DNASI. The YSTR DNA results do not show any matches between Mangum’s specimens and the DNA of the players. They agree to produce a report which omits key exculpatory DNA results showing DNA from other males.

Details of the April 4 photoID session by Mangum are made public by WRAL and other news outlets.

The search warrant for Reade Seligmann’s dorm room is released.

Seligmann’s alibi information is given to the media, including cell phone records, ATM records and photographs, charge records and information on taxi ride. Nifong refused Kirk Osborne’s offer of this information and to meet.

SATURDAY APRIL 22: Brodhead addresses alumni group; attacks media for promoting “hysteria” and “simplifications” about the incident.

Nifong falsely tells the press that the results of the second round of DNA tests will not be available until May 15, according to a 4/24/06 Chronicle article.

SUNDAY APRIL 23: N&O runs article “Amid Legal Chaos, Duke Lacrosse Program Faces Uncertain Future.”

MONDAY APRIL 24: Himan interviews cab driver Moez Elmostafa, who gives a written statement about driving Seligmann on March 14. Elmostafa denies he had been paid off by Phil Seligmann, Reade’s father, to give his alibi information.

Defense attorney Kirk Osborn files a motion to obtain Mangum’s medical, educational and criminal records.

Nifong says he plans to reinstate misdemeanor charges against a half-dozen lacrosse players, saying their March 13 party broke earlier deals made with prosecutors. Dave Evans is among the first to have his charges reinstated. The various charges include noise violations, public urination and alcohol violations.

TUESDAY APRIL 25: Granville County NC authorities state that Mangum told Creedmoor police 10 years ago she was raped by three men when she was 14. None of the men were charged.

Finnerty is ordered to stand trial in July on misdemeanor assault charges stemming from the 2005 incident outside a Georgetown bar in D.C. He had been on probation but prosecutors claim his arrest in the lacrosse case invalidated his parole.

Candidates for DA Nifong, Freda Black, and Keith Bishop attend a public forum one week before the primary election. Nifong blames lacrosse defense attorneys for trying the case in the media.


THURSDAY APRIL 27: Creedmoor police chief confirms that Crystal Mangum had accused three men of rape in Creedmoor in August, 1996.

Unnamed lacrosse players tell ESPN there was an argument about money at the party but no assault.

Nifong says he will not have a third indictment ready for the grand jury that meets May l, the day before the primary election.

FRIDAY APRIL 28: Brodhead issues a statement on the planned New Black Panther Party demonstration set for May 1:

“Exams Week begins on Monday. This is a period of considerable stress for our students, especially following the already stressful events of the past several weeks. We will not let the safety of our campus be jeopardized, nor will we allow our students’ lives to be disrupted.”

Nifong issues a statement that Mangum’s previous allegations of rape in Granville County in August 1996 would not affect the Duke case because of the rape shield law.

Durham PD re-interviews Brian Taylor, Mangum’s driver the night of the party. Taylor, who had been interviewed previously on March 21, is asked for first time for an estimate of their time of arrival at the party.

SATURDAY APRIL 29: The Creedmoor police report from 1996 containing Mangum’s previous charges of rape is published. There are no hospital records to confirm the allegation.

SUNDAY APRIL 30: The N&O profiles Gotttlieb and Himan “Veteran sarge, novice detective.” The profile is positive, although it does mention “Gottlieb has taken on Duke students before…”

Another N&O story exposes deficiencies in the April 4 line-up and other police practices:
“Durham City Manager Patrick Baker said he expects police investigators' every step to be second-guessed.

"They have my full confidence," Baker said. "I am satisfied with the direction of this case."





Ben Himan’s Case Notes

Ben Himan’s State Bar Deposition:

Mark Gottlieb’s Timeline for City Hall

Mark Gottlieb’s State Bar Deposition

Duke University & Brodhead Statements

Duke Chronicle Articles

Johnsville Blog Posts

News & Observer Articles

News & Observer series “Rush to Judgment” by Joe Neff

News & Observer Chronology

WRAL Stories

KC Johnson’s Case Narrative

Chronology by Vance Holmes “Poetic Justice”

CBS News Chronology

AP Chronology

Search Warrants for Finnerty & Seligmann Dorm Rooms

Wikipedia Timeline

April 30 N&O Article Profiling Gottlieb & Himan

April 30 N&O Article Exposing Line-up Deficiencies

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Once a false accusation of rape has been made, the justice system and news media act like a factory conveyor belt, moving inexorably toward conviction -- or at least villification. This process has nothing to do with logic or basic human decency.

Sadly, some still look at the Duke Lax case and think of it as a race issue -- as if poor black men don't suffer the same or worse fate. The moral of this story isn't that the falsely accused can count on justice, but rather that without financial resources the falsely accused are doomed.